OPINION

The capable and the sycophants

Intense populism from both ends of the political spectrum has convinced us all that anyone taking on a key position in the public sector ought to be paid a minimum amount of money.

This is the kind of ideological tool used by members of the partisan microcosm who, in this way, manage to exclude businesspeople who might have, at one point or another, expressed a desire to contribute to public life, on the one hand, while assisting politicians who are out of work and partisan apparatchiks, among others, on the other.

As if this problem weren’t enough, anyone who is to be appointed or currently holds a position in the public sector is running the danger of facing charges.

There is no doubt that anyone managing public money must feel the fear of state control and justice at all times. There is no objection here whatsoever.

The problem, however, arises when any kind of story published in the media or any type of unionist complaint may end, summarily, in criminal charges and as of late, being remanded in custody or released conditionally.

Considering the current state of affairs, it makes sense for the justice system not to wish to see cases being sent to the department’s archives, as it is fearful of possible political and media reaction. It is also logical, from a certain point of view, for the Greek justice system to overreact.

The danger of tarnishing the reputation of innocent people is lurking, however, along with that of displaying excessive harshness. There has been a string of cases involving absolutely honest people who were neither crooks nor gained a single euro while in public office.

For years these people were being harassed and, without even realizing, found themselves at the epicenter of partisan, unionist or business warfare, and, naturally, at the time they were being charged found themselves on the front pages of newspapers but when they were subsequently acquitted only got a brief mention in the back pages.

The irony here is that while each party profits politically from this easy-to-digest food for scandal it is being served, the same food becomes a source of pain when the party eventually rises to power.

The way things are going, however, means that no serious and capable people will ever wish to be appointed to a position in the public sector.

The jobs are badly paid, the danger – even if temporary – of being discredited is major, and as for what they stand to gain, well, never mind that.